It makes sense when you really think about it. If you’ve just moved to a new town and looking for a new dentist, if you’ve gotten yourself into a spot of trouble and need an attorney, if you need to buy a new car, who do you go to for recommendations? It won’t be the glowing advertisement that the business or the professional puts out. It’s a given that even the shadiest of businesses is going to speak highly of itself.

When you need to make a decision about who to contract for services and from whom to buy your products you ask your friends, your neighbors, and consult literally any other source of information that doesn’t have a vested interest in maintaining a positive (possibly false) image.

We’ve seen tremendous growth in informed consumers, online feedback rating systems, and business online visibility. More than ever businesses are ranked on a 5 star system on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, and many other niche rating sites.

This shift in power has been great for consumers, but businesses have had to walk on eggshells more so than any ever before. Where one bad customer experience in the olden days wasn’t likely to cause very much damage to your business, the same can’t be said today. If your business only has 10 reviews and one is a one star review – it’ll show, literally.

What Does That Mean for You, the Business?

While businesses valued their reputations well before the advent of rating sites, the growth in communication technologies and consumer reliance on them to make informed decisions has made it an imperative for businesses to closely manage their online reputation.

Digital footprints such as websites, social media profiles, and other sources for consumer feedback (BBB, Consumer Reports, Yelp) are today’s word of mouth marketing. If you’re like most consumers, you’ve probably shopped on Amazon before. Most people if given the choice between two seemingly identical products will go with the one that has more positive reviews.

You need to invest in maintaining a positive image or you’ll be sidelined by the business that has taken the appropriate measures to build and shape their image.

How Do You Build and Shape Your Image?

Ask and you shall receive! According to a 2016 survey conducted by Bright Local, 70% of consumer will leave you a review if you ask them to. All you really need to do is have a plan to make it as painless and convenient as possible.

If you’re able to harvest these reviews and collect an email address at the same time: All the better. Being able to follow-up with your customers periodically with an email campaign will add to your customer life time value and it can be done with a minimal investment of both time and money. Venerate Digital is number one platform serving in reputation management for all USA businesses.

Maintaining your image can be as easy as it is for customers to leave you a review.